Seward Lifts Ski Industry

James L. Seward

September 25, 2009

The Windham Journal

HUNTER — Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) was recognized recently by the Ski Areas of New York (SANY) for support and dedication to the New York state ski industry and its beneficial effect on the state’s economy.

“Our ski areas provide recreational opportunities for families throughout the state and play a critical role in the upstate economy,” said Senator Seward.  “I am fortunate to work with great partners at Hunter Mountain, Ski Windham and Greek Peak and appreciate their contributions to the local economy and surrounding communities.”

When the governor this year proposed an additional 4 percent tax hike on ski lift tickets and lessons, Senator Seward joined with SANY and successfully defeated the tax plan.

“Senator Seward has stood up for us in our time of need,” said Scott Brandi, president of SANY.  “We appreciate all he has done and the time he has invested to learn about the ski industry and to fight on our behalf.”

In 2008 Senator Seward authored legislation calling for a state panel to evaluate whether governmentally-owned recreational facilities constitute unfair competition to ski, golf, camping and other recreation businesses owned by private entrepreneurs. The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support and was passed in both the senate and assembly, only to be vetoed by Governor Paterson. The skiing industry employs 18,000 New Yorkers and in the winter months is the economic engine that drives tourism in upstate New York

New York enjoys the fifth most skier visits in the nation, just behind Utah, Vermont, California and Colorado. Over 4,000,000 skier visits will occur in New York state in 2009.